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Old 07-08-2007, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Going to NA meetings on Methadone

I've heard there is a prejudice against people who are on methadone treatment who go to NA meetings (I can see the logic there, btw).

Is this true? If you are on methadone treatment, does this mean it's not appropriate to go to NA meetings?
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Old 07-08-2007, 01:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As long as one has the "desire" to not use I don't see why not.
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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for many in na methadone is seen as substituting one drug for another and most of us tried substitution and it didn't work.

"the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using"

you are most definitely welcome in NA meetings... where the conflict usually comes up is some meetings ask that you don't share if you're used in the past 24 hours, to many people methadone is considered using. service positions in na have cleantime requirements and since methadone is considered using, a person on methadone wouldn't meet the requirements for the position.
AND there are some who completely disagree... they think methadone is different because its a prescription....

but the main thing is you are welcome in meetings!

here's a na bulletin written some years back that might help you or at least be interesting for you to read: http://www.na.org/bulletins/bull29.htm
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Tradition Three

I would suggest you read tradition three in the book It Works How and Why.

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Old 08-07-2007, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Go to those meetings, you are welcome as Lucyo says. Good luck! There is so much waiting for you - love and fellowship, a new life and clean time
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You will invariably encounter mixed reactions at the meetings. However the 3rd tradition guarantees you a place in NA.

It is unlikely that you would qualify for a service position while you are still on the methadone but I have no idea how long you plan to continue using it. NA can provide you with some support in the meantime.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah Definetly Keep Coming Back! If You Have A Desire You Are A Member Before You Even Step In The Door. Keep The Faith And One Day Methadone Will No Longer Be Needed
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am curious as to why Peter thinks the person would not qualify for a service position??? Does that mean people who are on Dr. prescribed anxiety meds or any other prescribed meds that they are NOT abusing would not qualify either???
I don't think medications that are NOT being abused are anyones business...
I went to meetings while on methadone and I was honest with my sponsor and with my closest support group. I participated in service . I got off methadone without a relapse... I have stayed clean/sober for almost five years and everything is OK. Thank GOD people in my NA didn't judge me because I was on methadone. It saved my life along with the 12 steps and doing service!!!!
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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we have people in narcotics anonymous who's drug of choice became methadone and who've successfully quit. does it sound right for a person currently taking methadone to be chairing a meeting, taking H&I meetings into a treatment facility, speaking to the public about narcotics anonymous and be using methadone, no matter whether its prescribed or not... while there are people there desperately trying to quit/stay quit from the methadone? i imagine i would have started back taking it cause it must be ok if the chairperson can take it!

i believe most people on methadone realize this and dont even allow themselves to be nominated for such positions, until they are clean from the methadone.

narcotics anonymous is a program of complete abstinence from mood/mind altering drugs. a person on drug replacement therapy drugs is not abstinent.

i'm all for a person doing whatever it takes to stay clean... but some of them are contrary to what we learn in na. our literature talks about abstinence, it doesn't tell us to go to a doctor and get a prescription to maintain, taper off, make it easier.

and congratulations on 5 years clean.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Na has no opinion on outside issues..... Prescribed medication is an outside issue.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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prescribed medication is mentioned in our literature
we have a bulletin on na.org about methadone and drug replacement therapy

i dont think we're suppose to just ignore the fact, particularly when its obvious when a person is on mood/mind altering drugs, in regards to electing trusted servants in narcotics anonymous.

some of our handbooks even address the issue of holding trusted servant positions when on mood mind altering medication.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lbad View Post
Na has no opinion on outside issues..... Prescribed medication is an outside issue.
I beg to differ. Reading NA literature and becoming familiar with the program and fellowship helps us understand what is or isn't an outside issue. Anything that goes on within NA cannot be an outside issue.

The World Service Board of Trustees Bulletin # 29 specifically states:

Members on drug replacement programs such as methadone are encouraged to attend NA meetings. But, this raises the question: "Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so. While some groups choose to allow such members to share, it is also a common practice for NA groups to encourage these members (or any other addict who is still using), to participate only by listening and by talking with members after the meeting or during the break. This is not meant to alienate or embarrass; this is meant only to preserve an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings.

Our Fifth Tradition defines our groups' purpose: to carry the message that any addict can stop using and find a new way to live. We carry that message at our recovery meetings, where those who have some experience with NA recovery can share about it, and those who need to hear about NA recovery can listen. When an individual under the influence of a drug attempts to speak on recovery in Narcotics Anonymous, it is our experience that a mixed, or confused message may be given to a newcomer (or any member, for that matter) For this reason, many groups believe it is inappropriate for these members to share at meetings of Narcotics Anonymous.


Obviously, NA does have an opinion regarding members on prescribed medication IN OUR MEETINGS. If you read the bulletin all the way through, you'll see that there are guidelines regarding members who are drug replacement programs. Hence, if there are NA guidleines...there is an NA opinion. This isn't an outside issue.

It is also suggested that those who are uninformed or interested read the Times of Illness pamphlet.

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Old 08-23-2007, 09:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I really wish more members of NA would read In Times of Illness. The first time I ever heard of it was here on SR. My local NA would not allow me to share in meetings because I was taking medication as prescribed by my doctor. Yet notice here, NA encourages those with health issues to share.

Quote:
Narcotics Anonymous as a whole has no opinion on outside issues, including health issues. We
are concerned with recovery from the disease of addiction. Although our recovery is complicated
when we experience disease or injury, this does not have to lead us away from recovery.
The ultimate responsibility for making medical decisions rests with each individual. If we choose
to accept it, however, a great deal of support is available to help us make these decisions. For
instance, we can practice the Twelve Steps, maintain frequent contact with our sponsor, write about
our feelings and motives, and share at meetings. With the support of others in Narcotics
Anonymous, we find the strength we need to make healthy decisions for our own recovery.
The use of medication in recovery is often controversial. It’s good to remember that the Basic
Text recommends consulting professionals concerning our medical problems. When we remember
that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using, we as members can set aside
our judgment of others. Clean time is an issue for each of us to resolve individually with our sponsor
and our Higher Power. An attitude of judgment on our part could cause great harm to another
addict.
“I was one person who believed that, if you used anything for any reason, it was
considered a relapse. Until I was faced with this situation in my own recovery, it didn’t
dawn on me that I might have to take medication. I can remember going to meetings and
having people ask me if I’d relapsed, and telling me to pick up a white chip. This really
hurt and scared me. I felt rejected and very alone because no one seemed to understand
that I needed strength and hope.”

When someone we know has been taking prescribed medication, we can help them by offering
support and by sharing our experience, strength, and hope. We fulfill our primary purpose by
supporting another addict’s recovery with an attitude of care, love, and concern.
My personal wish is that someday NA will see that maintaince therapy falls under medical care. I know that not being able to share in meetings hurt my early recovery.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Obviously, NA does have an opinion regarding members on prescribed medication IN OUR MEETINGS. If you read the bulletin all the way through, you'll see that there are guidelines regarding members who are drug replacement programs. Hence, if there are NA guidleines...there is an NA opinion. This isn't an outside issue.
I agree with you, Alera, somewhat. I should've said NA has an opinion about drug replacement programs such as methadone instead of saying "prescribed medication." And the piece you're refering to that suggests members share in meetings is talking about those who "experience disease or injury."

I, too, wish more NA members (or any addict concerned) would read Times of Illness and other NA literature, including the Basic Text. And what I'd wish more, is that they'd pay attention to the context as well as the content of the literature. That way, some confusion could be avoided.

The pamphlet, In Times of Illness, is not addressing medications prescribed for drug replacement therapy. It's talking about situations where we can become ill or injured (after we get clean) and require medications for those illnesses and injuries. Even our Basic Text tells us:

Quote:
"This is a program of total abstinence. There are times, however, such as the case of health problems involving surgery and/or extreme physical injury, when medication may be valid. This does not constitute a license to use. There is no safe use of drugs for us. Our bodies don't know the difference between the drugs prescribed by a physician for pain and the drugs prescribed by ourselves to get high. As addicts, our skill at self-deception will be at its peak in such situations. Often our minds will manufacture additional pain as an excuse to use....In this program of total abstinence, however, we need to feel no guilt after having taken a minimum amount of medication prescribed by an informed professional for extreme pain." - Basic Text, page 98- **.
I, for one, understand the importance of protecting an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings so that the message isn't blurred by members under the influence. I've witnessed new members (who were on methadone) nodding in meetings. I've also heard the same members ramble incoherently when given the opportunity to share. What kind of message are they sending to those who aren't using at all? That it's okay to come to meetings and share while they're high? I don't see it as being any different than the drunk being asked to listen (instead of share) at an AA meeting.

I don't know if NA will ever view drug replacement therapy as medical care (like that specifically referred to in the pamphlet), especially when the vast majority of the fellowship got clean without it. As LucyO said, NA isn't about tapering or substitution, and tapering or maintaining an addiction (the easier, softer way) is something NA does have an opinion about.

"Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryW View Post
I agree with you, Alera, somewhat. I should've said NA has an opinion about drug replacement programs such as methadone instead of saying "prescribed medication." And the piece you're refering to that suggests members share in meetings is talking about those who "experience disease or injury."
....



I, for one, understand the importance of protecting an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings so that the message isn't blurred by members under the influence. I've witnessed new members (who were on methadone) nodding in meetings. I've also heard the same members ramble incoherently when given the opportunity to share. What kind of message are they sending to those who aren't using at all? That it's okay to come to meetings and share while they're high? I don't see it as being any different than the drunk being asked to listen (instead of share) at an AA meeting.

I don't know if NA will ever view drug replacement therapy as medical care (like that specifically referred to in the pamphlet), especially when the vast majority of the fellowship got clean without it. As LucyO said, NA isn't about tapering or substitution, and tapering or maintaining an addiction (the easier, softer way) is something NA does have an opinion about.

"Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so.
I am with you on part of this. First of all, let me explain that I do agree this is NA policy now, and should not be broken until NA World Service makes a decision.

Members who are nodding on Methadone replacement is no different than the person who is nodding from heroin. That is not recovery. Nor is the person who is nodding from taking medication for a broken leg. I do see how it is exactly like the drunk being allowed to share. You and I agree on this.

My personal belief is that I would like NA to someday accept those who are taking drugs such as sub be allowed to share. I understand why NA has the stand it does, but as medicine is changing rapidly from Methadone to urge control medications I hope NA will look over the issue the next few years as more people are now taking some of this medications that do not make you stoned.

LucyO, I see your point and it is very valid. However, as drugs such as sub and naloxone are becoming more common place more members will have come clean from these medications. In the future, as medicine continues to change, I would like NA to look at this issue. For now, I understand why they don't want to take the risk. As Garry's examples show there is still a slippery slope.
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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After reading your last post, Alera, I can see now that you're on to something. I can't recall exactly where I read it, but it does talk about in NA literature how (over time) the fellowship and program will change and grow as a result of the new ideas and new perspectives brought in with new members. This could include the ideas you've put forth.

If the fellowship decides this is something that should be addressed for the good of NA as a whole, NAWS has to go along because they're responsible to the groups and their members.
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The newest issue of the NA Way magazine has nearly two pages of articles(not opinion pieces) about this whole issue. The main theme of the articles is that this is a tenth tradition issue and that people that have strong negative opinions making it seem that their opinions are NA's opinion only harms our fellowship as a whole. Here is a link if you would like to read this.


na.org/pdf/naway/en/NAWay_Jul07.pdf

add www at the beginning
wont let me type that normally since I have not make 15 posts yet.
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Old 08-26-2007, 03:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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yes you are so right about that nicki, but na.org also has the bulletin concerning methadone and other drug replacement therapy on their site and frequently when this issue comes up, that is what people refer to...
here's a link to Bulletin 29: Regarding Methadone and Other Drug Replacement Programs:
http://www.na.org/bulletins/bull29.htm

neither the naway magizine nor the bulletin are fellowship approved literature... and just like the bulletin is the opinion of those writing it at the time, so is the NAWAY article. at least thats how i look at it

my opinion here again: methadone and other drug replacement therapies are outside issues, but some groups/areas have guidelines regarding sharing if you've used, and cleantime requirements for trusted servant positions. so we as individuals (not na as a whole) do have to make judgment calls when it comes to whether a person on DRT is using or not.

when this subject comes up, sounds like whoever wrote that last NAWAY article would have us stick our head in the sand and not care or ignore the fact if we have using addicts being trusted servants or not. i say we should care, particularly in regards to being a trusted servant. i dont think na as a whole will ever come out with a statment saying those on drug replacement therapy are clean, but i could be wrong.

if you read bulletin 29 it would appear na does have an opinion, maybe not on methadone maintance/DRT per se, but on whether a person on DRT is clean.
it says :
Members on drug replacement programs such as methadone are encouraged to attend NA meetings. But, this raises the question: "Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so. While some groups choose to allow such members to share, it is also a common practice for NA groups to encourage these members (or any other addict who is still using), to participate only by listening and by talking with members after the meeting or during the break. This is not meant to alienate or embarrass; this is meant only to preserve an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings.

Our Fifth Tradition defines our groups' purpose: to carry the message that any addict can stop using and find a new way to live. We carry that message at our recovery meetings, where those who have some experience with NA recovery can share about it, and those who need to hear about NA recovery can listen. When an individual under the influence of a drug attempts to speak on recovery in Narcotics Anonymous, it is our experience that a mixed, or confused message may be given to a newcomer (or any member, for that matter) For this reason, many groups believe it is inappropriate for these members to share at meetings of Narcotics Anonymous.

It may be argued that a group's autonomy, as described in our Fourth Tradition, allows them to decide who may share at their meetings. However, while this is true, we believe that group autonomy does not justify allowing someone who is using to lead a meeting, be a speaker, or serve as a trusted servant. Group autonomy stands only until it affects other groups or NA as a whole. We believe it affects other groups and NA as a whole when we allow members who are not clean to be a speaker, chair a meeting, or be a trusted servant for NA.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Nickibaby;1464108]The newest issue of the NA Way magazine has nearly two pages of articles(not opinion pieces) about this whole issue. The main theme of the articles is that this is a tenth tradition issue and that people that have strong negative opinions making it seem that their opinions are NA's opinion only harms our fellowship as a whole.
Sorry Nickibaby,

I think you misinterpreted what you read in the NA Way (unless I get a different magazine than you). The focus on the article was on the public image of NA - not drug replacement therapy. It talks about prescribed medication and how some members may share their opinions about these medications as if they were the opinion of NA as a whole. Well...this kind of sharing has a way of getting back to medical professionals (and the public) and can hinder our efforts to attract people with medical issues.

That's why, when we share, it is so very important that we make it clear that our opinions are our own, and not those of NA. No single member can speak for the entire fellowship, yet we are entitled to develop our own personal opinions about anything and express them just as freely.

But, getting back to the issue of what is or isn't an outside issue (or what NA has or does not have an opinion about) - It goes right back to what has already been discussed here: there's a difference between coming to NA while still using methadone and suffering an illness or injury that requires prescribed medication AFTER YOU'VE BEEN CLEAN. Below is an excerpt from that NA Way article, and I'll highlight what I believe is being overlooked.

Quote:
NA has no opinion on outside issues

We continue to hear from professionals that, at some NA meetings, our members share their individual opinions regarding medication, and professionals perceive these opinions to be those of NA as a whole. Expressing our individual opinions affects our public image. It also affects addicts who are referred to our program of recovery as well as members who need to take prescribed medication once abstinence has been achieved. To effectively carry our message of recovery to all addicts, we want to embrace our Tenth Tradition and truly adhere to the principle that “NA has no opinion on outside issues.”

Medication

NA is a program of recovery with a fundamental principle of complete abstinence. In the course of daily living, some NA members are confronted with physical and mental health issues that may require medication. Other members interact with healthcare professionals on behalf of our fellowship, carrying the message of recovery. Unfortunately, both healthcare professionals and members who take prescribed medication often hear individual opinions from NA members about the use of medication, rather than the message of NA’s traditions —that NA, as an organization, has no opinion on outside issues, like the use of medications.
You see...NA has no opinion on whether you should or shouldn't take medication, what kind of medication you should take, how much or how little, or for how long. These decisions are best left up to the individual member and healthcare professionals. Although some members may feel very strongly about taking medication of any kind for specific ailments or conditions, their views are not the views of NA as a whole - nor should they be taken as such.

What NA does have an opinion about is substitution, drug replacement, clean-time guidlines for service, and the level of participation of members who are still using. These things aren't mentioned in the NA Way article, so it wouldn't be correct to say the article was about "this whole issue"...now would it?
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You heard but have you been to an NA meeting ?

I heard a lot of things too when i was in early recovery.
90 days into it and a bit of a contraversy going in a meeting
about the he said, she said BS.

I had a moment of clearity. I decided to dig the book out from
the bottom of my trunk and read it for myself.
I couldn't totally focus, but oh well, it was like killing two birds
in one stone. I learned about recovery and I practice on focusing
via reading recovery literature and writing my journal.
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